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Businesses gather to hear about Lake District UNESCO win

Over 40 members and guests from small businesses across the North West gathered at The Windermere Hotel to hear about the Lake District’s latest and most notable accolade and how it is expected to be a game changer for the area’s future.

Earlier this year UNESCO confirmed the area as one of its latest set of World Heritage Status sites, joining such prominent recognised attractions as the Great Barrier Reef and Taj Mahal.

The panel of experts consisted of Stephen Ratcliffe from the Lake District National Park, who led the bid; Gill Haigh from Cumbria Tourism; Spencer Hannah from Herdy, and Usha Mistry from Lakes Culture.

Zoe Dawes, of ‘The Quirky Traveller’ chaired the meeting as the discussion looked at the prospects for the Lake District now it has received international recognition.  The panel were united in their belief that the accolade would help to raise awareness of the Lake District as a special place and would present opportunities to further increase our visitor numbers.

Paul Foster, FSB Development Manager said:“For many of us who live, work in or visit the Lake District regularly it can be easy to assume that we are already a global brand, however as with many tourism spots the Lake District is known and loved by its fans but for those who haven’t experienced it there is often a lack of awareness. 

"This new status will help to increase visitor numbers over the next few years, it is not a short term win but it opens up new possibilities which we need to work together to grasp with both hands.”